Michael Goulian Wins RBAR Abu Dhabi – Leads 2018 World Championship

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Goulian Wins in Abu Dhabi

Well known airshow and Red Bull Air Race pilot Michael Goulian claimed his first RBAR win since 2009 on Saturday, when he beat defending World Champion Yoshihide “Yoshi” Muroya of Japan at the 2018 Abu Dhabi race.

Goulian claimed the second win of his career by finishing with a time of 53.695 seconds, just enough to beat Muroya.

“It was awesome. It’s been a long time coming to get to the second win and my whole team is over the moon,” said Goulian, who most recently was on the podium as part of a North American sweep at the Red Bull Air Race in Kazan, Russia last season. “Now we need consistency. There are 13 other great pilots in the Red Bull Air Race, and I feel nothing but excitement for the rest of the year.”

Michael Goulian - Red Bull Air RaceMichael Goulian - Red Bull Air Race

Goulian now leads the World Championship standings with 15 points. There are seven more stops on the Red Bull Air Race World Championship Tour schedule in 2018, with the series returning to the United States at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 6-7th.

The full Abu Dhabi 2018 results are:

1. Michael Goulian (USA)
2. Yoshihide Muroya (JPN)
3. Martin Šonka (CZE)
4. Kirby Chambliss (USA)
5. Matt Hall (AUS)
6. Ben Murphy (GBR)
7. François Le Vot (FRA)
8. Mika Brageot (FRA)
9. Petr Kopfstein (CZE)
10. Nicolas Ivanoff (FRA)
11. Juan Velarde (ESP)
12. Cristian Bolton (CHI)
13. Matthias Dolderer (GER)
14. Pete McLeod (CAN)

American Kirby Chambliss Wins Budapest Red Bull Air Race

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Kirby Chambliss of the United States (C) celebrates with Pete McLeod of Canada (L) and Yoshihide Muroya of Japan (R) during the Award Ceremony at the fourth round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Budapest, Hungary on July 2, 2017. // Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

American Kirby Chambliss has taken the victory in the 4th race of the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Series.

Chambliss was the first to take on the track among the Final 4, which was made up of Pete McLeod (CAN), Martin Sonka (CZE) and Yoshihide Muroya (JPN). His time was 1:00.632, the second fastest time of the day among competitors. He edged out Pete McLeod by only 0.108s.

After the race Chambliss said: “I love Budapest. I have to thank my team, it’s not a one person effort, I can’t thank them enough. I’m super stoked. Winning is easy when you’re winning, it’s not when you’re not.”

Kirby Chambliss of the United States performs during the finals at the fourth stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Budapest, Hungary on July 2, 2017. // Armin Walcher / Red Bull Content Pool

American Michael Goulian finished 12th, after failing to make it out of the Round of 14. He exceeded the G-limit set by RBAR and was given a Did Not Finish (DNF). Goulian is a previous winner at Budapest, having won the race in 2009. In his post race interview, Goulian said he just slightly over G’d the aircraft and was proud of the way he flew.

Kirby’s win moved him up to fourth in the World Championship standings. Yoshihide Muroya continues to lead with 4 races remaining. The series moves onto the Kazan, Russia in three weeks for the 5th race of the season. The final race of the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Series will be in Indianapolis, IN at Indianapolis Motor Speedway October 14-15th.

The final results were:

Red Bull Air Race Budapest Results

Red Bull Air Race: San Diego – Muroya Emerges Victorious In 2017

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Red Bull Air Race World Championship - San Diego 2017

In mid-April, the famed Red Bull Air Race World Championship returned to San Diego, California. Racers from all over the world descended on Browns Field and San Diego Bay for a chance to claim a win in the second race of the 2017 season. For many, the weeekend would be filled with one upset after another as pilots broke in new aircraft and faced fierce competition.

History of Red Bull Air Race World Championship

Created in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship celebrated its landmark 75th race at the 2017 season opener in Abu Dhabi back in February. The Red Bull Air Race World Championship features the world’s best aerobatic race pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision, and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, and lightweight racing planes, pilots hit speeds of 230 mph while enduring forces of up to 10G as they navigate a low-level slalom track marked by 82-foot-high, air-filled pylons. From 2011-2013, the annual races were on hold as new safety improvements were put into place. In 2014, the Challenger Cup was conceived to help the next generation of pilots develop the skills needed for potential advancement to the Master Class that vies for the World Championship.

Red Bull Air Race World Championship - San Diego 2017 - Breitling MXS-R - Mikael BrageotRed Bull Air Race World Championship - San Diego 2017 - Nicolas Ivanoff - Edge 540 V2

Race Format

Typically flown on weekends, the event begins with a training day where pilots are required to fly two training flights through the course before the knock-out style races begin. This not only gives the pilots an introduction to what flying the course will be like, but the times set by each racer in the last training session determine the order in which they will fly during the qualifying races the following day,a sort of pre-qualifying. The order begins with the slowest pilot and ends with the fastest.

In qualifying, the racers are given two flying sessions to place for the finals. The best overall time of the two sessions is counted towards Race Day.

On race day, all racers go through another two sessions and the times from those determine the 14th through 9th placings. The remaining eight top placing racers then advance to the finals the next day.

The finals begin with the Round of Eight that determines the 8th through 5th placings. The four fastest racers then go on to duel for the 4th through 1st positions.

At the end of each race event, Championship Points are awarded to the pilots based on their placings as such:

  • 1st – 15 points
  • 2nd – 12 points
  • 3rd – 9 points
  • 4th – 7 points
  • 5th – 6 points
  • 6th – 5 points
  • 7th – 4 points
  • 8th – 3 points
  • 9th – 2 points
  • 10th – 1 points
  • 11th – 0 points
  • 12th – 0 points
  • 13th – 0 points
  • 14th – 0 points

Red Bull describes the race course setup in this way:

As many of the stops on the World Championship calendar are classed as exotic, pilots often have to battle against the elements, with extreme heats, shifting winds and harsh storms always a possibility. As a result, no two Red Bull Air Races are ever the same.

On average, the racetracks measure approximately 6km in length and are marked by race-bespoke Air Gates. The unique inflatable pylons, which form the Air Gates and define the racetrack, were first developed in 2002 and have evolved year-on-year into the sophisticated design currently used.

When the track is designed it consists of the Start/Finish Gate, three or four two-pylon gates, which the pilots have to fly straight and level between and a chicane that comprises of three individual pylons that pilots will have to bank around. At one end of the course a Vertical Turning Maneuver is included. This is where the pilots have to fly through the gate, then turn as quickly and efficiently as possible without pulling more than 10G in their raceplane and then fly towards the next gate. On average there will be five straight and level gates (where up to two could be for Vertical Turning Maneuvers) and a three-pylon chicane.

Deviations from these requirements result in time penalties of varying severity. More serious infractions result in Did Not Finish (DNF) or disqualified (DQ) scores. Penalties are categorized as:

One Second Penalty

  • Insufficient/no smoke

Two Second Penalty

  • Flying too high, through or over an Air Gate
  • Incorrect level (at an angle) crossing through an Air Gate

Three Second Penalty

  • Hitting a gate (1st time)
  • Hitting a gate (2nd time)

Did Not Finish

  • Deviating from course
  • Exceeding 200 knots (370 km/h; 230 mph) when crossing the Start Gate
  • Aircraft weight below 698 kilograms (1,539 lb) after the race
  • Exceeding 10G for more than 0.6 seconds
  • Exceeding maximum load factor of 12G
  • Hitting a gate (3rd time)

Disqualification

  • Uncontrolled movements or flight
  • Close to ground pull-up from descent
  • Crossing safety line
  • Negative G-turn around a pylon
  • Flying below 49 ft. (15 m.) between Air Gates
  • Flying into clouds
  • Entering course at an angle exceeding 45 degrees
  • Ignoring Race Director commands
Red Bull Air Race World Championship San Diego 2017 Matt Hall Edge 540 V3Red Bull Air Race World Championship San Diego 2017 Edge 540 V2 Cristian Bolton

San Diego Races

More than 20,000 spectators lined San Diego Bay on Saturday, April 15 as the reigning Red Bull Air Race World Champion battled with two fierce opponents – the man who currently leads the standings and an American in his home race ­– for the top spot in qualifying at the second stop of 2017. As the pilots raced at speeds of 230mph, American Michael Goulian (58.978) was right on the tail of defending titleholder Matthias Dolderer of Germany, who came out on top with a time of 58.332. Czech Republic’s Martin Šonka (58.980) finished in third. In the Challenger Class, one of the youngest pilots in the history of Red Bull Air Race, American Kevin Coleman, topped the timesheet at 1:09.905.

Dolderer was the dominant force of the 2016 season, winning the second stop of the year and going on to clinch the championship even before the season finale. But it was Šonka who claimed the race win at the 2017 season opener in Abu Dhabi to put himself at the head of the overall standings for the first time in his career. Goulian, whose last win was in 2009, seems to be flying with renewed confidence this season. Another American, two-time titleholder Kirby Chambliss, was sixth in San Diego qualifying.

On Sunday April 16, the final races took place and one upset followed another. Yoshihide “Yoshi” Muroya of Japan was the only pilot with the consistency to reach the top of the podium with a time of 58.529. Peter Podlunšek from Slovenia stunned the field in capturing second place in his first-ever Final 4, two seconds behind Muroya at 1:00.454. Dolderer was third after a pylon hit, and American Kirby Chambliss finished fourth.

Earning 15 World Championship points with the victory, Muroya jumped up 10 places in the overall standings, to third behind Šonka (21 points) and Dolderer (16). The result was especially meaningful because the next stop of the season is in Muroya’s home skies of Chiba, Japan – where he earned his first Red Bull Air Race win in 2016.

“I’m quite happy. We had a very hard time at the season opener in Abu Dhabi, and we’ve been working really hard for months,” said Muroya, who had an over-G penalty at the 2017 kickoff. “My crew and my family have been helping a lot to help us get more stable and consistent, and I thank them. The next race in Japan is going to be a big one, and it’s an important step forward to win here as I head to my home country. It’s a huge crowd and pressure for me, but I will have fun there.”

In the day’s earlier action, 2016 Challenger Cup winner Florian Bergér of Germany earned his first Challenger Class win of the season.

The rankings following the San Diego races are as follows:

Master Class

Challenger Class

Tickets for the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship – including the third stop, an exciting return to Chiba, Japan on 3-4 June, are on sale now. For more information on tickets and all the latest, visit www.redbullairrace.com.

We at AirshowStuff would like to thank Lora Bodmer of Deep Communications for Red Bull in San Diego for allowing us to cover these exciting races and Red Bull GmbH for putting on this incredible series year after year!

Red Bull Air Race World Championship - San Diego 2017 - Trophy

Red Bull Air Races Return To San Diego In 2017

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Kirby Chambliss - Red Bull Air Race San Diego
Kirby Chambliss flies over San Diego Bay, USA on 14 March, 2017. (Chris Tedesco / Red Bull Content Pool)

The annual international Red Bull Air Races are coming back to San Diego, California after having last visited the city in 2009! The Red Bull Air Race World Championship will feature Kirby Chambliss and the world’s best race pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile, and lightweight racing planes, pilots navigate a low-level aerial track made up of air-filled pylons 82 feet high at speeds of up to 230 mph.

Red Bull Air Race San Diego 2017 Course
Courtesy of RedBullAirRace.com

French pilot Nicolas Ivanoff in his then-new Zivko Edge 540 took the win at San Diego last time. His victory was certainly well-earned, beating out Master Class pilot Paul Bonhomme by over a second.

Racing will take place in the skies directly over the San Diego Bay April 15 and 16 and spectators can watch the high-speed, low-flying action from the North or South Embarcadero Marina Parks. Tickets and additional information are available at RedBullAirRace.com.

Red Bull Air Race 2017 Schedule Announced – Two US Stops Included

posted in: Aerobatics, Schedules | 0

Red Bull Air Race 2017 Schedule

Red Bull has announced the 2017 schedule for their popular Air Racing series, with stops in at least six countries and three continents currently planned for the circuit.

The season will begin in early February in Abu Dhabi and wrap up at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October. A west coast United States stop returns to the schedule in 2017, with the addition of San Diego to the schedule in April.

Missing from the 2017 schedule is Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which has hosted a Red Bull Air Race since 2014 and served as the final race since 2015. This year, Indianapolis will assume the role of the final race with the series championship potentially on the line.

You may remember in previous years, the Las Vegas event has run into issues with winds and weather conditions. Hopefully, by moving the final race of the year to Indianapolis, Red Bull will have better weather.

2017 Red Bull Air Race Schedule:

Stop 1: Abu Dhabi, UAE – Feb 10-11th
Stop 2: San Diego, CA, USA – April 15-16th
Stop 3: Chiba, Japan – June 3-4th
Stop 4: Budapest, Hungary – July 1-2nd
Stop 5: Kazan, Russia – July 22-23rd
Stop 6: TBA – Europe – August 12-13th
Stop 7: TBA – Europe – September 2-3rd
Stop 8: Indianapolis, IN, USA – Oct 14-15th

Red Bull Air Race 2017 Schedule

Red Bull Pilot Hannes Arch Dies In Helicopter Accident

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Hannes Arch - Red Bull Air Race
Photo Credit: Red Bull Air Race

Red Bull Air Race pilot Hannes Arch died last night in a helicopter crash in the mountains of his native Austria. Few details are available at this time, but the Red Bull Air Race Facebook page posted this tribute:

It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of our long-time, close friend Hannes Arch in a private helicopter flight at Carinthia, Austria.

Hannes has been a Red Bull Athlete for over 25 years. The world mainly knew Hannes as an amazingly successful Red Bull Air Race pilot. This was only one of the ways in which his spirit found expression. In younger days he was ranked as one of the world’s leading mountaineers and climbers and was one of the first aerobatic paragliders.

We will miss his warmth, sense of fun and boundless energy. To his family and many other friends, we extend our deepest sympathy.

Hannes was actively competing in the Red Bull Air Race series this year, and holds third place in the 2016 rankings. There are two more races on the 2016 schedule, both in the United States. Both events are expected to go on as planned despite this tremendous loss.

SUN ‘n FUN To Feature Red Bull Air Race Demo

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Red Bull Air Race - Sun n Fun

Attendees of SUN ‘n FUN on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (April 8-10th) will be in for quite a treat. For the first time at a North American airshow, 80 ft pylons will be raised on the airfield and two pilots will compete on the resulting race course to demonstrate how scoring and timing of the Red Bull Air Race series is conducted.

Red Bull Air Race pilots Michael Goulian and Kirby Chambliss will be performing the demonstration.

If you’re at the airshow, you can purchase tickets for upcoming races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. You’ll also have the opportunity to look at a pylon up close, fly a simulator, and purchase RBAR merchandise.

Airshow Pilots Prepare For 2016 Season

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The long winter stretch with little or no airshow activity is almost over! Soon the roar of jet engines and the sound of spinning props will ripple through the air, letting airshow fans know that the flying season is upon us!

A few airshows have already occurred this year – AIR FIESTA 2016 occurred in Brownsville, TX on Feb 13th and 14th and a few airshows were held in California in January. The Singapore Airshow was also held in February!

Kyle Franklin

But while the off season may be slightly depressing for airshow fans, it gives performers time to regroup and inspect their aircraft. During the winter, airshow pilots typically take them apart and look over every inch. Kyle Franklin did just that this year and posted this picture on his Facebook page. During the inspections, Kyle found a cracked exhaust flange on his high performance biplane known as “Dracula”. Kyle says the problem is fairly common with his exhaust and they have made adjustments so that it doesn’t crack as much.

Kyle Franklin recently posted a video on his Facebook page showing him starting up Dracula for the first time in 2016.

Many other pilots spend the winter season training for the upcoming season. Michael Goulian and Kevin Coleman will be participating in the Red Bull Air Race this year. Kevin will be competing in the Challenger Cup.

The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds have also been preparing for the season. The Blues “crested” many members of the 2016 team today at El Centro. The team has been flying practice flights at El Centro to get ready for the season. The Thunderbirds will fly their Creech AFB Appreciation Show on Tuesday, March 8th to thank the airmen of Creech for their support during the season. The Thunderbirds use Creech as a training airport.

The off season also gives us and many other aviation photographers a chance to catch up on photo editing, clean the camera, and just maybe get some new equipment! We’re ready for the season to start and excited to bring you coverage of this year’s airshow season. Stay here through the season for the latest in airshow news, photos, and videos!

In 2014, we did a RideAlong! onboard cockpit video with Kyle at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Check out the video below!

2016 Dates And Locations Announced For Red Bull Air Racing

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Red Bull Air Race 2009 - Windsor, ON

The 2016 dates for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship were announced today, and the 8-stop world tour will conclude with two stops in the US. The 7th stop will take place at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, IN before the series wraps up by returning to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. The stop in Indianapolis already has Midwest airshow fans abuzz as it is the first stop in the region since 2010. The full 2016 schedule is below.

    March 11-12 – Abu Dhabi, UAE
    April 23-24 – Spielberg, Austria
    TBD – Japan
    July 16-17 – Budapest, Hungary
    August 13-14 – Ascot, Great Britain
    September 3-4 – Lausitzring, Germany
    October 1-2 – Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
    October 15/16 – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Each race will be broadcast in the US on Fox Sports 1 on a schedule to be announced later.

Each air race is arranged as a time trial event. Carefully selected pilots from around the world fly small aerobatic planes such as Edge 540s and Extra 300s through gates made of inflatable pylons. These pylons are specially designed to not damage the aircraft in the frequent event of contact. There are multiple rounds per event and the pilot with the fastest time through the course is the winner.

The flexible setup allows the course to take on a new layout at each race location, often in a small footprint. While many of the earlier events took place over open water, race tracks have seemingly become a favored location since they do not have many tall obstacles, the track can be used as a temporary airport, and the crowd can sit in pre-existing grand stands.

The series was created in 2003 and soon branched out from Europe to the US and around the world. Previous US events have been held in Monument Valley, Reno, San Francisco, San Diego, Detroit (along with adjacent Windsor, Ontario), and New York City. The races were not held in 2011, 2012, or 2013. In 2014 and 2015, the series concluded with stops in Texas and Las Vegas. Stops outside the US have included Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, the UAE, and more.

Red Bull Air Racer Mike Mangold Killed In Plane Crash

posted in: Miscellaneous, Warbirds | 2
Mike Mangold
Photo: mikemangold.us

Mike Mangold is dead after he was involved in an L-39 Albatros crash Sunday afternoon. Witnesses to the crash say that the aircraft was attempting to takeoff from Apple Valley Airport in Apple Valley, CA when it encountered an issue and crashed.

Apple Valley Fire and Police Department spokesman Jason Nailon said that as “the jet was taxiing down the runway, someone spotted flames coming out of the engine.”

A second person onboard at the time of the crash was also killed, but authorities have not released their name.

Mangold was famous for his airshow flying and for his time as a Red Bull Air Race pilot. During his flying career, which spanned 38 years, Mangold flew for the USAF as well as commercially and as an airshow pilot. He won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in 2004, 2005 and 2007, and took home gold, silver, and bronze medals at the US National Aerobatic Championships.

He is survived by his wife and two children. AirshowStuff sends our sincere condolences to Mike’s family and friends. Godspeed.